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Curtis Celebrates the Centenary of Gian Carlo Menotti Feb. 4

All-Menotti program on February 4 features singers from the Curtis Opera Theatre

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Curtis celebrates the centenary of Gian Carlo Menotti with a recital of his works on Friday, February 4 at 8 p.m. The distinguished composer graduated from Curtis in 1933 and served on the faculty for 20 years. The recital takes place in Field Concert Hall at the Curtis Institute of Music and admission is free; no tickets required.

The recital is curated by Danielle Orlando, principal opera coach at Curtis, who had a long association with Menotti through the Festival dei due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy and Spoleto USA, as well as through the Pavarotti International Voice Competition.

She accompanies singers from the Curtis Opera Theatre in excepts from Menotti's songs and operas, including The Medium, The Saint of Bleecker Street, The Consul, and the rarely heard Goya and The Last Savage. Curtis instrumentalists perform chamber works by Menotti.

Gian Carlo Menotti (1911-2007) began his formal musical training at the Verdi Conservatory in Milan and continued his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music with Rosario Scalero. His first mature work, the one-act opera buffa Amelia Goes to the Ball, was premiered by Curtis in 1937. A year later the opera was presented by the Metropolitan Opera, a success that led to a commission from the National Broadcasting Company to write an opera especially for radio, The Old Maid and the Thief.

Menotti wrote the Christmas classic Amahl and the Night Visitors, among numerous other operas, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Consul (1950) and The Saint of Bleecker Street (1955). He taught composition at Curtis from 1941 to 1955 and 1965 to 1971. He founded the noted Festival dei due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, in 1958, and its American counterpart, Spoleto USA in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1977. He led Spoleto USA until 1993 when he became director of the Rome Opera.

Danielle Orlando spent nine seasons working with Gian Carlo Menotti for the Festival dei due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, as the artistic coordinator and coach for the operas, in addition to editing several of his compositions and performing with the festival. As accompanist, judge, and artistic coordinator for all of the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competitions, she collaborated on the 1982 Emmy Award-winning broadcast of La bohème, directed by Menotti and starring Pavarotti and the competition winners.

She has served on the music staffs of many opera companies, festivals, and young-artist programs, including the Metropolitan Opera; Washington National Opera (where she collaborated with Plácido Domingo); Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires; Michigan Opera Theatre; Opera Company of Philadelphia (artistic administrator); Pittsburgh Opera; Wolf Trap Opera Company; Festival dei Due Mondi in Charleston, S.C.; American Institute of Music Studies in Graz, Austria; European Center for Opera and Vocal Arts in Belgium; Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera; Portland Opera Performing Institute; New Jersey Opera Theater; and Arizona Opera.

She is also a guest judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Most recently she added Oberlin in Italy and the Florence Voice Seminar to her summer engagements and for the past two seasons has worked for and performed in the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland. Ms. Orlando, who is a master vocal coach at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, is also the principal opera coach of the Curtis Institute of Music.

The Curtis Institute of Music educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level. One of the world's leading conservatories, Curtis is highly selective and provides full-tuition scholarships to all of its 164 students. In this intimate environment, students receive personalized attention from a celebrated faculty. A busy schedule of performances is at the heart of Curtis's distinctive "learn by doing" approach. This philosophy has produced an impressive number of notable artists since the school's founding in 1924, from such legends as Gian Carlo Menotti, Samuel Barber, and Leonard Bernstein to current stars Juan Diego Flórez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, and Lang Lang.

Gian Carlo Menotti Centenary Recital
Friday, February 4 at 8 p.m.
Field Concert Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust Street

Free; no tickets required

MENOTTI  Selections from Canti della lontananza
Elizabeth Zharoff, soprano
Danielle Orlando, piano

MENOTTI  Selections from Five Songs
Joshua Stewart, tenor
Danielle Orlando, piano

MENOTTI  Cantilena e scherzo
Madeline G. Blood, harp
Ike See, violin
Yiying Julia Li, violin
Marina Thibeault, viola
Gabriel Cabezas, cello

MENOTTI  "Ora che siam soli ... Ridi se vuoi" from Goya
Allison Sanders, soprano
Adam Frandsen, tenor
Danielle Orlando, piano

MENOTTI  "Monica’s Waltz" from The Medium
Elizabeth Reiter, soprano
Danielle Orlando, piano

MENOTTI  "I shall find for you shells and stars" ("Lullaby") from The Consul
J’nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano
Danielle Orlando, piano

MENOTTI  Trio for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano
Stanislav Chernyshev, clarinet
Yiying Julia Li, violin
Michelle Cann, piano

MENOTTI  "Oh, sweet Jesus, spare me this agony" from The Saint of Bleecker Street
Elizabeth Zharoff, soprano
Danielle Orlando, piano

MENOTTI  "See how the dying sun sinks in a sea of green" from The Last Savage
Anna Davidson, soprano
Jarrett Ott, baritone
Danielle Orlando, piano

MENOTTI  "Ah, how fortune waits in hiding to surprise us! ... The sun is going and we must go too" from The Last Savage
Alize Rozsnyai, soprano
Ashley Thouret, soprano
Jazimina MacNeil, mezzo-soprano
Joshua Stewart, tenor
Julian Arsenault, baritone
Thomas Shivone, bass-baritone
Allen Boxer, bass-baritone
Danielle Orlando, piano


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